Now that I'm standing on the brink of beginning an adventure of a lifetime, I think it only makes sense that I document my journey thus far. So here it is for all future Canadian ESL teacher wishing to teach with a public school in South Korea, listen up.

When I decided to teach ESL in South Korea, I quickly enrolled myself with TESOL College to get my teaching certificate. It's not a must if you want to teach in private schools, but since I'd plan to go with public school from the beginning, I have to get at least the 120hours certificate in order to be qualified to teach with the public school board. I chose the 240 hours diploma package so that guarantees me 5 specializations instead of just 1. I think this is a good investment since I'll be pretty well-rounded when it comes to teaching in the end. I want to be an efficient teacher, I don't want to half-ass my way through the duration of my contract! ^^ TESOL certificate - CHECK. ^^

Next, I waited until around April to check up on SMOE job postings for the Fall 2009 term. ^^ I found a great, but small agency called Eduvisor who's been wonderful when it comes to getting things done on time. ^^ I followed their instructions and sent them:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Photo
  • 3 Reference letters
Next, one of their agents contacted me by phone and interviewed me briefly. She then sent me the SMOE application form online with instructions that I e-mail them:
  • Filled out SMOE online application form
  • Personal essay
  • Lesson Plan
Next she arranged my interview with SMOE. Jon was the one who called me and he was very professional with the questions. I think I was asked about 5 questions? I couldn't keep track. *lol* It was my first phone interview so it was pretty nerve-racking.

Within 2 weeks, I found out I was hired! ^^ So next, it's time to start the E2 visa process (we were at this stage in mid-May). First I got my security check from the police station, and photocopied my docs. Now, time to go to a lawyer to get my degree and security check notarized. At the lawyer, I had to show him my photo ID, the original copy of my degree and S.C and the photocopied versions. Then he went and stamped and signed it. ^^ So now I'm almost ready to pay the Korean Consulate office a visit! ^^ But first......

I have to order 3 sealed transcripts from my University. Yes that's right! 3 sealed transcripts, because you'll need to send 1 to Korea, and 2 to the Korean Consulate Office later. Ok, now I'm ready to pay the Korean Consulate a visit! ^^ Personally, I prefer going to the Consulate Office in person rather than mailing my stuff in. It's quicker this way. I'm from Alberta, so I had to fly into Vancouver in order to visit the Consulate Office. I made this trip twice in a span of 3 weeks.

You don't have to make an appointment when you go to the Consulate Office in Vancouver so that's cool. ^^ This is what you need to bring with you in order to get your Degree and S.C stamped by the Consulate:
  • Original degree
  • Photocopy version of degree notarized by a lawyer
  • Original Security Check
  • Photocopy version of Security Check notarized by a lawyer
  • 1 Sealed University transcript (bye bye 1st sealed transcript)
  • Fee: $4.40 for the 2 documents
  • Passport
As long as you have all of the above with you, you'll be able to get your Consulate stamp right away with no problems. ^^

Next, it's back to Alberta. ^^ Before you go any further, remember to photocopy your notarized and stamped copies of your degree and security check!!!!! Because once you send them to Korea, you won't see them again so it's wise to photocopy a copy for yourself because you'll need it later. Trust me. Now I'm ready to FEDEX my recruiter the following (this was done in early July):
  • 2 passport sized color photos
  • Photocopy of my passport
  • 3 signed contracts and the addenda (my recruiter e-mailed it to me)
  • Photocopy version of Bachelors degree that's been notarized and stamped.
  • Photocopy version of Security check that's been notarized and stamped.
  • 1 sealed University transcript
  • Photocopy of TESOL teaching certificates
  • My mailing address
Within 2 weeks, SMOE sent me via FEDEX 2 stamped copies of my contracts, my Notice of Appointment (N.O.A). Now it's time for the final step --- Getting my E2 Visa.

So now, time for my 2nd trip down to Vancouver to visit the Consulate again (in late July)! Before you visit the Consulate office, make sure you have the following. This was what I had to bring to the Consulate Office my second time around ^^:
  • a filled-out X-presspost return envelope (because I'm from out of town)
  • Completed Visa Application form (you can download it from the Consulate Office site here:
  • 1 passport photo attached to the application form
  • Original & photocopy version of my passport
  • $55 visa fee
  • Photocopy of TESOL certificates
  • Original University Degree & the notarized stamped version of degree
  • 1 Sealed University transcript
  • 1 copy of Contract with the superintendent seal in red on the back
  • Notice of Appointment letter
  • Photocopy of your notarized stamped security check.
The Consulate office will need to take possession of your passport for 5-10 business days in order to stick the E2 Visa on there, so make sure you don't need your passport to travel anywhere (ex. to the States) anytime soon. If you choose to pick up your visa in person, you can usually pick it up within 5 business days. If you decide to have your visa mailed to you with the X-presspost envelope, it'll usually take up to 10 business days. ^^ I got my visa in the mail a week after I had dropped it off at the Consulate. ^^

One thing about applying with the public school is ---- You don't need to go in for an interview with the Consulate Office! ^^ As long as you have your N.O.A letter, you are exempted from the interview! Cool, eh? ^^


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I am a girl embarking on an ESL teaching adventure in South Korea. This is my story......

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